Couple hand down cattle company to son and his wife
By Renae B. Vander Schaff
Date Modified: 05/30/2012 1:30 PM
MAGNOLIA, Minn. — The rangeland along the Kanaranzi Creek has been home to the Sherwood family for a long time.
Three generations have earned a living on the prairie land where a mixture of native grass pasture make it ideal for cattle raising.
Jim, age 62, and his wife, Betty, are in a transition phase as they reduce their involvement in the Sherwood Cattle Company. Son Cody and his wife, Samantha, are taking on more responsibility and decision making. They have worked together to build and fine tune the business to meet cattle producers' needs.
Eldest son Tyler and his family raise cattle in far-away Pennsylvania. Daughter Amanda lives in Sioux Falls, S.D. Cody and Samantha live on a farm eight miles from the home place.
"Our cattle are registered Angus, registered Simmentals and registered Sim-Angus," said Jim Sherwood.
Calving begins in late January and continues through April.
Nothing is left to chance when it involves 200 expectant cows and heifers.
A calving room is next to the office. Cows can be monitored through large glass windows and cameras inside and outside provide other eyes. The office is equipped with living quarters so Cody and Samantha can stay there throughout calving.
"The calving room furnishes a warm, dry place for the calf to get its first colstrum," said Cody. "Once the calf is doing well, it can then be shuffled to the next station."
By day two the cow and calf are doing well and can go to a different building where there are a dozen cow/calf pairs. The calves can be with their mother or escape to a separate pen. In case of inclement weather, all the cattle can be indoors.
For the past nine years Sherwood Cattle Company has held a replacement heifer private treaty bid sale. The calves remain at the farm rather than going to a livestock auction sale, said Jim Sherwood. People can see the calves and place bids on the ones they are interested. Bids close in mid-September.
"At that time a phone auction is held," said Cody. "We'll have several phones going and talking to each bidder on a calf individually. It gets a bit intense here."
It takes many people to help in the bidding process and tracking the current bidders.
Bulls are also sold from the farm, as they have been for over three decades. An open house is held in January and a meal is served. Customers can view the pens of priced bulls. Purchased bulls are kept on site until April. They are all semen, BVD-PI and TB tested before leaving the farm.
The fact that three different breeds are offered is appreciated by buyers, said Jim.
"Angus are known for their good maternal traits," said Cody. "Simmentals for their good growth traits. The Sim-Angus combines both those traits, giving us the best of both worlds."
Producers can choose the traits they need to improve their herds. If they have been leaning toward growth for awhile, perhaps it is time to look toward the maternal traits. By purchasing the right bull they can incorporate the necessary characteristics.
The intensive use of embryo transplant and artificial insemination has been the foundation of Sherwood Cattle Company. The Sherwoods strive to have calves that are both show quality and good herd replacements.
Low birthweight is important, but they also look for consistency. When customers view a pen of bull calves they will see uniformity in size and frame. They endeavor to have cattle that look good but also are functional.
Using rotational grazing, the cattle are mostly out in pasture or corn stalks until weather dictates otherwise.
To contact Renae B. Vander Schaaf email her firstname.lastname@example.org